Tips for cruising sailors

Bottle Socks

A lot of cruising sailboats head offshore for the first time, not realizing how much the stuff in the boat is going to move around.  I know it happened to us, with broken glass adding to the mess sloshing about on the sole, with both of us (and the cat) mildly (or more) seasick.  When I described it to a group of cruisers in the islands, heads nodded, and several related similar experiences.  It’s not that you have to stow everything as if the boat is going to turn turtle, but close to it.

One thing we did was to take old socks, when they wore out, and turn them into “bottle socks”.  Simply place them around any glass container, and you have made it much less likely to break.

12 volt stuff

Consider, when you buy a cordless drill or other tools, to get the 12 volt model.  When the batteries die, you can remove them from the batter pack, and install a cord with alligator clips and run the drill (or whatever) off of the ship’s batteries.  In a similar way, any battery powered stuff can be converted to run off the 12 volt on-board system, if it was designed to run on 12 volts.  We had a “boom box” radio, which used eight dry cell batteries, each of which are 1.5 volts.  The eight batteries in series makes 12 volts, and so it was easy to hook up to the boat’s power.

If you have devices that use dry cell batteries, keep in mind that it will be expensive to buy batteries in some places, and they may not be very fresh.  The new rechargeable dry cell batteries make all kind of sense.  Then, use a 12 volt powered dry cell battery charger to recharge them.  The new ones offer great energy density and cycling/life that was unheard of a few years ago.



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